Chew toys, rap, and that anime bus: How Cowboys’ 2023 opponents revealed Dallas matchups
Cowboys fans were understandably focused on their own team’s schedule and the video put out to announce it on Thursday night, but there were, of course, 31 other teams doing the same thing.
The media departments for the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers seem to have won this year’s very unofficial best-video contest in the eyes of most observers, while the Cowboys’ big-budget Yellowstone spinoff was generally met with somewhat mixed reviews.
Some squads put together similarly elaborate productions, while others seemed to throw their release videos together as an afterthought. The Cowboys revealed the details of their schedule by rolling the list of 2023 games as simple end credits, but other teams chose to skewer their opponents with clever (or not) jabs.
Here’s a look at how the Cowboys’ upcoming opponents announced their respective schedules, and how a few of them decided not to wait until the pads were on this fall to get in some cheap shots.
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New York Giants, Weeks 1 & 10
ESCAPE ROOM: Unlock the 2023 Schedule 👀 pic.twitter.com/gXbKuihLdR
— New York Giants (@Giants) May 11, 2023
The Giants did an escape room, with several of their players searching for clues to lead them to their 2023 schedule. There were no specific references to any of their opponents, just a graphic listing their slate of games at the end.
New York Jets, Week 2
we'll take it @georainbolt pic.twitter.com/oOaszXKzma
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 12, 2023
The Jets got Rainbolt to reveal the team’s schedule by doing what made him a TikTok star- namely, guessing geographical locations based on absurdly generic visual images. He correctly identifies Dallas based on half a photo of “just a concrete slab.” Oh, and the pic is in black and white… and he sees it for a tenth of a second.
Arizona Cardinals, Week 3
wait for it… pic.twitter.com/EUOQiADL3w
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) May 12, 2023
The Cardinals put out a dud of a video: literally ten seconds of Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown playing catch before a graphic of the schedule appears.
New England Patriots, Week 4
Welcome to the Patriots retirement house, @devinmccourty. pic.twitter.com/DKPmnDezWA
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 12, 2023
The Patriots filmed a skit of Devin McCourty moving into the team’s fictional retirement house, where he meets several past Patriots stars. There’s no direct reference to the Cowboys, other than their name appearing on a playbook in one room of the house.
San Francisco 49ers, Week 5
Schedule on LOCK 🔒@dalocksmith | @Ticketmaster#FTTB pic.twitter.com/gPdAaKGhVB
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) May 12, 2023
California rapper Locksmith spits custom lyrics for each 49ers opponent, running through the entire season in an 80-second song. The Cowboys get a reminder of their playoff losses in consecutive years: “Back-to-back Ls, better steer ’em away/Tell them Boyz ‘Saddle up’ when they visit the Bay”
Los Angeles Chargers, Week 6
should we REALLY make our schedule release video an anime AGAIN?
yes yes yesyes
yesyes yes yes yes
yes yes yes yes yes
yes yesyes yes yes
yes yesye yes yes
yes yes yesyes pic.twitter.com/z7qyNGyWHp
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) May 12, 2023
The Chargers have become the league’s undisputed roastmasters, shredding each opponent in the most brutal way possible. They went with an anime motif once again, this time zeroing in on Dak Prescott.
In his scene, Prescott is reading a tweet on his phone, the actual and infamous January 22 post from the Cowboys’ official account that called out his two interceptions and the “self-inflicted wounds” that led to the team’s loss in the divisional round of the playoffs. The moment went viral, seen by many as the team publicly throwing their franchise quarterback under the bus; in the Chargers’ cartoon, the animated Prescott is then hit by a bus labeled “Content Team” as Stephen A. Smith watches from nearby. Ouch.
Los Angeles Rams, Week 8
A schedule release just For You. pic.twitter.com/T2C6SMlDdQ
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) May 12, 2023
ESPN’s Smith makes another appearance, this time in the Rams’ TikTok-inspired video. He provides the visual as a TikTokker lip-syncs along to one of his many Cowboys rants.
Philadelphia Eagles, Weeks 9 & 14
Team dog Reggie 🤝 Dawg Mentality@Ticketmaster | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/wKS4HkAYNP
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 12, 2023
Whether it’s a nod to the dog masks that the Eagles players made famous a few years back, their obsession with drafting Georgia Bulldogs, or maybe both, Philadelphia went with a canine-themed video.
For Week 9, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox’s dog Jack attacks a cowboy chew toy. To announce the Week 14 rematch, it’s two dogs owned by the team’s “video guy” fighting over a different chew toy wearing a miniature Cowboys jersey.
Carolina Panthers, Week 11
That's showbiz baby 🎭 pic.twitter.com/ddga84X7BG
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) May 12, 2023
Backstage at a fictional theatrical performance, Panthers players make reference to their upcoming opponents. The Cowboys are lumped together with Houston in a “Texas showdown scene” featuring standby punchlines like a lasso, kids’ cowboy costumes, and a “not my first rodeo” joke.
Washington Commanders, Weeks 12 & 18
Introducing the newest AI software, ChatDMV
🎟 https://t.co/OVs7oTdPAu | @SeatGeek pic.twitter.com/gJEJB6bKnp
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) May 12, 2023
The Commanders go all-in with their weird pig mascot, Major Tuddy, using artificial intelligence to throw together the schedule release video at the last minute.
For the Thanksgiving Day meeting in Dallas, AI supplies an image of hogs dressed as cowboys sitting around a dinner table. The Week 18 season finale gets an AI video clip of Prescott and Sam Howell dressed as cowboys, using their voices in an Old-West standoff. Fake Howell spits out one-line gems like, “Move over, there’s a new sheriff in town” and, “This division isn’t big enough for the two of us.”
Seattle Seahawks, Week 13
Cuteness overload for the 🗓
🎟 https://t.co/u2gjLhmZMn | @Delta pic.twitter.com/nPR7DeMqEC
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) May 12, 2023
The Seahawks asked a group of toddlers to reveal their opponents by showing them team logos. (Like what Tennessee did, only “blandly cute” instead of “genuinely hilarious.”) Most of the tots in the video do, however, correctly identify a star.
Seattle also put out a “prank video” that had their own players acting along to ridiculous direction for what they thought was the real thing.
Buffalo Bills, Week 15
Our 2023 schedule is making dreams come true.
📺: Schedule Release | 8PM on @NFLNetwork and @NFL+ pic.twitter.com/HYDf6tBXbD
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 12, 2023
The Bills put together a sketch of several players getting their supposed wishes fulfilled. No mention of any teams directly, just the schedule presented via graphics at the end.
Miami Dolphins, Week 16
Get your popcorn ready. 🍿
Introducing your 2023 Miami Dolphins schedule! pic.twitter.com/afSl4VYbpn
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 12, 2023
Miami went with a going-to-the-movies theme. The Cowboys show up in a fake theatrical trailer and are dramatically referenced by a big-voiced narrator as “America’s favorite bad guys, the Cowboys.”
Detroit Lions, Week 17
Grab the sticks, it’s time to play! 🎮 🏈 @ticketmaster pic.twitter.com/1VsJ5XY83h
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 12, 2023
AI versions of head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes play the Madden version of the Lions’ upcoming schedule. No real shade thrown at the Cowboys here, except for rookie Detroit linebacker Jack Campbell predictably picking off a Prescott pass.